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Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Pennsylvania State Equal Rights' League. Held in the City of Harrisburg, August 9th and 10th, 1865.

1865PA-State-Harrisburg_Proceedings_Transcript (19).pdf

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Moved by Mr. Brown, of Hollidaysburg, that we tender our thanks to the Secretary and other officers of the League for the faithful manner in which they have performed their duties. Carried.

Moved by Mr. Nesbit, of Altoona, that we give a vote of thank to the Pennsylvania Railroad Company, for the facilities afforded to our members for attending the annual meeting. Carried.

On motion of Mr. Geo B. White, of Philadelphia, a vote of thanks was given to the citizens of Harrisburg for the hospitality shown to the members of the League.

On motion of Mr. Alexander, of Altoona, the League adjourned.

Jacob C. White, Jr.,

Henry P. Fry,

Henry T. Burley,


Proceeding of the Annual Meeting of the Pennsylvania State Equal Rights' League, held in the city of Harrisburg, August 9th and 10th, 1865 (Philadelphia, 1865).

Copy in the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, Howard University Library, Washington, D.C.


1. There were several Colored Citizen newspapers, published by blacks in at least four different cities, before and following the Civil War. The two leading such organs appeared in Cincinnati and Baltimore. This reference is probably to the Colored Citizen published at Cincinnati during the Civil War. It was published "in the interests of colored soldiers assisted by governmental and sanitary missions." Organized as a joint stock company, it appeared weekly during the Civil War, and was aided by J. P. Sampson. The Colored Citizen in Baltimore did not appear until 1882 and was edited by Isaac Myers. The Colored Citizen, located at Fort Scott, Kansas and Topeka, Kansas, did not appear until the late 1870s.

2. Joseph C. Bustill of Philadelphia was long active in the struggle of equal rights for black Americans. Before the Civil War, he gave active support, as an agent, for the Underground Railroad. Following the war, he served as vice-president of the Pennsylvania State Equal Rights' League.

3. Jacob C. White served as executive secretary of the Philadelphia Vigilance Committee, from 1838-1844. Following the Civil War, he was long time recording secretary for the Pennsylvania State Equal Rights' League.

4. Most of Philadelphia's streetcars allowed Negroes to ride only on the front platform, and some refused to admit colored people at all. Under the leadership of William Still, Philadelphia's Negroes launched an attack on streetcar segregation in 1859, and it increased in scope and intensity during and immediately after the Civil War. Final victory against this discrimination was to come in 1867. For a discussion of racism in Philadelphia, see Phillip S. Foner, "The Battle to End Discrimination against Negroes in Philadelphia Street Cars, Part I," Pennsylvania History, XL (July, 1973), 261-267, reprinted in Phillip S. Foner, Essays in Afro-American History (Philadelphia, 1978), pp.19-50

5. Philadelphia abolitionist and fighter for black equality, Isaiah C. Wears (also spelled variously as Weir) played an active role in the Negro convention movement. During the Civil War, he served on the Car Committee of the Pennsylvania State Equal Rights' League to rid the state of discrimination against the people on its railroad cars. In 1869, he, along with five other black delegated from Pennsylvania, were invited to attend the National Labor Convention, held at Philadelphia on August 16, 1869. Wears represented the Workingmen's Union of Philadelphia.

6. Elizur Wright (1804-1885), abolitionist and reformer, was born in South Canaan, Connecticut. In 1832, Theodore Weld, one of the great apostles of anti-slavery evangelism, enlisted Wright, then a professor at the newly founded Western Reserve College in Ohio, to join the agitation for the im

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